Time flies! This is the last three months of your pregnancy so keep nurturing your baby; get a good bite and enjoy the taste of life! In the most healthy way of course…  In these last three months of your pregnancy, you should add your diet approximately 450 calories from sugar free, low fat foods with high nutritional value. In this period, the growth and development rate is high and you may realize that you gain weight faster. You may see swelling of the hands, feet and the face and edema. (Smile, these are signs that you’re growing into a mom in the most beautiful way). Enjoy the simple solutions. If you have edema, minimize salt intake. At least stop spilling salt on your tomato, cucumber cuts in breakfast and salads. Easy as it is…

In this period of pregnancy, your baby actively absorbs and stores nutrients that your provide him. Calcium need for development of bones and skeleton will increase; iron need for blood cells and protein need for growth will be a lot more.

Keep in mind that calcium, magnesium and potassium have direct impact on the development of your baby's heart and health. These minerals are a must for intercellular nerve conduction and cardiac muscle functions. Just relax, don’t get stressed about grasping the complicated bodily functions. Just make sure that your diet includes foods that contain these minerals.

Milk and dairy products, molasses, dark green leafy vegetables are best sources of calcium; whole grains and nuts like almond, hazelnut and legumes, dark green leafy vegetables and whole grain nutrients are the best sources of magnesium; and all vegetables and fruits but primarily banana, apricot, potato are the best sources of potassium.

PROTEIN Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies. Thus they are the most important nutritional element for your baby’s growth. So, keep in mind that they are crucial and don’t make your baby’s body beg for them. Protein is made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids necessary for fetal tissue development. Especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy, when your baby is growing so fast, the protein requirement increases. Thus you need 60-70 grams of protein daily.

Protein sources; milk, yoghurt, cheese, egg, meat, chicken, fish and whole grain foods like legumes are good sources of protein. Daily protein intake must be met from animal origin proteins that have high bio efficacy, in other words the sources that are used by the body in high rates. Let’s bring this down to three simple words: “animal origin proteins”. They are what you need and it’s so easy to pamper your body with them. And yes, for pampering you may add special ingredients like a nice cuddle, a warm hug, a loving kiss…

Eating 1 egg and 2 slices of cheese at breakfast, 1 portion of dish with meat or 150 g grilled meat-chicken-fish-turkey or 1 plate of legume at lunch or meal and 3 portions of milk and yoghurt is enough to fulfill your protein need. Therefore enjoy your meals, bon appetite!

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS   Omega-3 fatty acids have a great deal to do with brain and nervous system. Eating omega-3 rich foods during pregnancy is very effective for the development of your baby’s brain and nerve system. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesized by human body and must be taken through supplements or diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are three types: alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA is more effective in prevention of cardiovascular diseases in adults and DHA is effective in visual-retinal functions, growth, brain development and protecting nerves. Yes, this sounds very much like your high school biology lesson, but still, it’s good to keep these in mind. So bare with us for some more…

Fats make up 60% of our brain. DHA makes up 30% of these fats. DHA is responsible for cell membrane formation and functions. These are important not only during development period of the brain but also throughout the entire life for sustaining neurons (nerve cells). This way it plays a role of recovery of memory function disorders.

Now, the real deal: Omega-3 intake during pregnancy is important for your baby’s development and it lowers your stress and depression as well! (Imagine it like a soft candlelight or a beautiful piece of music if you like…) Therefore, you should continue to take omega-3 during breast-feeding. Omega-3 is transferred to your baby through breast milk and supports development of cognitive functions. And as said, it soothes your heart and soul as well so why not enjoy it?

Marine products are the best sources of Omega-3. Specifically cold-water oily fish like salmon, sardine, and tuna fish are good Omega-3 sources. For Mediterranean countries, eating oily fish like mackerel, blue fish and anchovy will be a good choice for Omega-3 intake. Along with these nutrients like purslane, walnut, flax seed oil, rapeseed oil contain Omega-3.

The ideal and healthiest way to get Omega-3 is through foods. Although fishes are the best sources of Omega-3, they may be risky due to heavy metal and mercury content. Fishes in polluted waters are harmful for babies not only due to their heavy metal content but also due to other chemical toxins. (So let’s be careful about this and furthermore be environmentally conscious, protect nature... This is Earth; where your baby will be born and spend his/her entire life full of loving moments.)

If you can find reliable fresh fish in the season, Gurme Bebek recommends you to eat 250-300 g of fish 3 times a week (approx. 1 sea bream, 1 small sea bass or 1 slice of salmon), steamed, grilled or oven baked.

Due to heavy metal residue risk in pregnancy, you should avoid eating canned tuna. Today, finding trustable fish might be a challenge, so to close this gap, taking fish oil/omega 3 pills that contain DHA is healthy and safe for you and your baby. We recommend you to take omega-3 supplement by consulting your doctor. DHA content of the omega-3 supplement you will take is important. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are recommended to intake 300 mg DHA daily.

DON'T FORGET TO EAT YOGHURT... With its calcium, Vitamin B6 and magnesium content, Yoghurt is an ideal food for this period; it is the most natural probiotic known. Probiotics are live microorganisms good for health and have beneficial effects on intestinal flora. They boost your immune system, help digestion and prevent constipation. (So, respect!) Kephir may also be consumed during pregnancy as its rich in probiotics as well.

Use of probiotic supplements during pregnancy is also known to be safe. There are many researches (that you might not want to read right now as it’s the last three months of your pregnancy and what you need is some relaxation and joy!) So just a brief info: Researches state probiotics' advantages in the final period of the pregnancy in terms of its effect on helping boost the immune system, ensuring baby has a healthier digestive system and providing protection against allergic reactions. However more researchers need to be made to make an absolute statement. (So, now you know it all and you may go back to the relaxation and joy partJ)

You may come through probiotic supplements in the market in pill, drop or sachet form. Their quality and content and number of friendly bacteria may differ. In order for probiotics to be effective, these bacteria need to reach the large intestine live and without any transformation. For this reason when buying probiotic products as supplement, you should prefer the ones that are resistant to gastric acids and bile juice. You may choose to take probiotic supplements, but please proceed under the supervision of your physician.

Please click on the next page for constipation during pregnancy and ways to prevent constipation.